Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8.18.16: Cleveland, She's With Sir Paul, Endorsements, More Than an Edge

Guest post by aphra behn

Hello Hillary supporting community! This is a blog post for those interested in positive discussion of Hillary-related news. It’s great to be here with you!
Clinton pledged again that she would not raise taxes on middle-class earners but Republicans noted that during her time in the Senate she had voted in favor of Democratic budget plans that would have raised taxes on American earning less than $250,000 a year. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that Clinton’s tax plan would “kill jobs, reduce wages and hurt economic growth” and her prior Senate votes showed “she can’t be trusted to look out for the middle class.”
Clinton has proposed a 4 percent surcharge on incomes of more than $5 million, which would essentially create a new top bracket of 43.6 percent while those earning more than $1 million annually would face a tax rate of at least 30 percent. She has also pledged to eliminate the so-called “carried interest” loophole for private equity and hedge fund managers who pay lower rates on their investment profits.
She also trolled Trump, according to ABC:
"There are just 83 days left in this election. I keep track of them. Cross them off. And for anyone waiting for Donald Trump to suddenly become more responsible: Remember what a great American, Maya Angelou said. 'When someone shows you who they are, believe them,'" Clinton told the crowd of roughly 2,000 inside the gymnasium of John Marshall High School.
"And I think it's fair to say that Donald Trump has shown us who he is. He can hire and fire anybody he wants from his campaign. They can make him read new words from a teleprompter, but he's still the same man who insults gold star families, demeans women, mocks people with disabilities and thinks he knows more about ISIS than our generals," she continued. "There is no new Donald Trump. This is it."
Also: I’m a total Beatles nerd and this is cool: Hillary Clinton met with Sir Paul. And Sir Paul tweeted She’s With Me.

Also: you can check out upcoming Hillary events—including her August 21 fundraiser with Cher—here. She will be holding numerous fundraisers in the coming weeks, as CNN details.
By any objective measure, Donald Trump is poised to lose the November election by a wide margin.
Taking into consideration new swing-state polls from Quinnipiac University that show Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by 12, 10 and 3 points in Virginia, Colorado and Iowa, respectively, we can use RealClearPolitics's average of recent polls in swing states (and 2012 results everywhere else) to estimate how this thing would turn out: Clinton with the easy win, improving on President Obama in 2012.
From Twitter:

iew image on Twitter
I spent a few days at the Republican convention (I was there to advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights), and it was a pitiful show. I saw misdirected anger, conspiracy theories, and a startling lack of diversity. I saw rampant bigotry against Muslim Americans. I thought to myself: “So much for the party of Lincoln.” The Republican Party has given up the right to that claim.
Watching the Democratic convention, in contrast, I saw a big tent, and diversity. I saw a vision for the future. I heard an actual plan for the defeat of the Islamic State and a strategy to keep America safe without compromising what makes America exceptional.
.... I agree with Clinton on a host of social issues, from a woman’s right to choose (which I see as a fundamental liberty issue) to our right to marry whom we love, to reasonable gun safety measures (which I support as a proud, responsible gun owner). Furthermore, like many seriously ill Americans, I rely on medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of my multiple sclerosis and applaud Clinton’s proposal on marijuana, which would catalyze research and spur approval of new marijuana-based medicines while respecting the policies that voters in 25 states have approved. I’m also guided by Hillary’s support for LGBT equality, including in all forms of public accommodation. As a black American who grew up under Jim Crow, I am dedicated to ensure that the law never again permits discrimination. This issue is a moral one and a red line for me. Even if I agreed with Trump on every other issue, I could never support his vice presidential choice — Mike Pence — who has championed deplorable discrimination against the LGBT community
"Doesn't she look tired?" has always been code for "this woman is weak," and now Trump supporters are using it to attack Hillary Clinton's health.
The note from Dr. Bardack goes into Clinton’s history, and says that while she was once treated for a blood clot and allergies, they aren’t issues that would prevent her from serving. But at the heart of comments like Hannity’s (who speculated that Clinton might have suffered from seizures) is a toxic strain of sexism. These comments suggest an overall weakness that could compromise a woman's ability to function in a high-powered position. It’s an ugly version of the classic “style over substance” arguments that have kept women from earning the same as men in the workplace and occupying the same leadership positions. The health question might even be worse, because it’s so often disguised as genuine concern. Except that it's almost never truly genuine concern, but a covert way to undermine a woman’s ability while protecting the person doing the undermining.
...But even if these comments highlight Clinton's thick skin when it comes to criticism, the health question seems extra pointed. It’s the other side of the “asking about a woman’s weight” coin, and no politician or reporter would be dumb enough to do that, right? Oh but of course they would. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote in her book that she was called “chubby” by a male colleague, and over in the U.K., Labour Party politician Liz Kendall was asked how much she weighs by a reporter looking to compare her with Kate Middleton. Not only are these comments gross, but there's some evidence to suggest that they can even impact whether women succeed in elections.
And now for some Thursday Herstory!

We are all working to see that Hillary Clinton will soon take office as the first female president. But will she be the first woman to wield presidential power? In 1919, after President Wilson suffered a severe stroke, his wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, controlled his visitors, the paperwork he saw, and the issues brought to his attention in a way designed to preserve his health, while maintaining a veil of secrecy around how badly incapacitated he really was. Because of this, it’s sometimes been claimed she was the real president for a time. Is it true? Today we’ll take a look at Edith Wilson, whose role in her husband’s government was certainly substantial, if not truly presidential.  

Edith Wilson C. 1912 in her electric car

Born in 1872, in Wytheville Virginia, Edith Bolling’s family claimed descent from some of Virginia’s most prominent families, but their money was long gone. Her father practiced law and was a circuit court judge; however, he could not afford a full education for all of his nine surviving children, so Edith was taught largely at home by her grandmother, before briefly attending Mary Washington College and another Virginia finishing school, Richmond’s Powell School for Girls, which she left at the age of 18.  She was expected to find a suitable husband, and by the age of 24 had done so, marrying Washington DC businessman Nomran Galt at 24. Although not passionately in love, the two were happy enough, and Edith’s eccentric schooling left her quite capable of running her husband’s household and entertaining friends. Norman unexpectedly died at the age of 43 in 1908.
Widowed, Edith Galt involved herself in the running of her husband’s jewelry business, carefully selecting competent managers and living frugally until it was firmly in the black. At some point, she began to enjoy herself again, purchasing an electric car and socializing in the capital. Through her cousin, who knew President Wilson, she ended up taking tea at the White House one day in 1915. The President  had lost his beloved wife Ellen Axson Wilson (who was an interesting figure in her own right) in August 1914. Now in March of 1915, the still-grieving Wilson decided to join the ladies for their tea. The meeting changed both of their lives:
Within a month of their meeting, he not only had fallen in love, but had fallen hard.   This was a completely new experience for Edith.   Her courtship with Norman Galt had been steady, but bland.   Fifteen years her senior, Woodrow Wilson was a brilliant man, a professor, college president and author of several books.  He was President of the United States.  He was a romantic and passionate courtier.  Edith was overwhelmed. Her photograph sat on Wilson’s desk.  A private telephone line was installed between his office and her town house, only a mile away.  He called often.   Letters between them flowed as well, and he sent his private aide to the post office every day to circumvent the White House mailroom.  Wilson had been a gifted teacher, and now he was teaching Edith politics and government – a subject she knew little about.  She was a quick learner however, and began reading her way through his library.  Their letters seesaw between ardent sentimentality and serious and often remarkably confidential political discussion.

Wedding picture of  woodrow and edith wilson
Wedding picture of Edith and Woodrow Wilson

Against the wishes of his closest advisors, who feared the public would see a remarriage as a betrayal of his first wife’s memory, Edith and Woodrow married in a quiet ceremony at her Washington residence in 1915. Far from rejecting her, the American public was charmed by the glamorous woman with her trademark orchid and wide-brimmed hats. Her descent from Pocahontas marked her as a “real American princess,” according to one Washington Times headline. (Her identification with Indigenous heritage in a time of overwhelming racial prejudice deserves more attention than I can give it here, but you can read an excellent analysis of its meaning and context at this link.) Behind the scenes, however, Edith Wilson was much more than a fashion plate.
During the Gilded Age, the First Lady’s role had gradually expanded into semi-official status as a hostess, expected to plan many massive White House events. While this was a role typical of the wives of Wall Street moguls, college presidents, and other prominent men, the First Lady-as-event-planner was perhaps the busiest of them all. Indeed, Ellen Wilson’s untimely death was blamed in part at the time at the mental and physical stress of planning and hosting so many events:
During her first full three months as First Lady, from March until June of 1913, Ellen Wilson hosted over forty White House receptions, with an average guest list of 600. Although both she and the President initially appeared on the receiving line s, it was the new First Lady who endured these to the end, at great expense to her health… In addition to the traditional roster of formal dinners during the social season honoring the various branches of government, Ellen Wilson also hosted a spring season of musicales and recitals.
 In the Progressive Era, First Ladies had more recently come to be associated with furthering certain reforming causes; both Ellen Wilson and Nellie Taft, for example, were involved in promoting health and safety reforms for the largely African-American working classes of Washington D.C., and Ellen Wilson had further become involved in pressing housing reform in the slums and working class dwelling of Washington DC.
Edith Wilson was less interested in such pursuits than in acting as Woodrow’s trusted personal assistant and aide. She turned most social planning over to her secretary, and when the United States joined the First World War in 1917 she eliminated public White House tours, Easter Egg roll and New Year’s Day reception, and kept formal dinners down to the bare minimum. Indeed, she turned the entire White House over to the wartime cause:
Throughout the war, the First Lady, who preferred to be called "Mrs. Woodrow Wilson," set an example for economy and patriotism. Like other American housewives, she wore thrift clothing, observed rationing, and "Hooverized" the White House, adopting "meatless Mondays" and "wheatless Wednesdays." Instead of paying a gardening crew to maintain the White House lawn, Edith borrowed twenty sheep from a nearby farm and donated the wool to charitable auctions aiding the American cause -- sales of the auctioned wool ultimately netted $50,000. She knitted trench helmets; sewed pajamas, pillowcases, and blankets; promoted war bonds; responded to soldiers' mail; named thousands of vessels; and volunteered with the Red Cross at Union Station.

Edith Wilson as First Lady

Behind the scenes, Edith Wilson was becoming Woodrow Wilson’s most trusted aide. In his first career as an academic, Ellen Wilson had served as a translator, researcher, and editor for his work, although as his career progressed and her social responsibilities became more pressing, she had largely abandoned this role. As Wilson campaigned for president, Ellen remained his trusted consultant and was the source for most of the literary and poetic allusions in his speeches.  In Edith Wilson, Woodrow Wilson once again had a partner who was eager to work by his side. Edith served as a de facto office manager, research assistance, and secretary. He worked largely from his office in the family living quarters, where Edith screened his mail and his visitors. She also sat in on meetings held in the Oval Office and, with the outbreak of war, became privy to secret codes, and served as her husband’s decoder.  When he went to Europe in 1919, she accompanied him, becoming the first American First Lady to visit Europe during her husband’s time in office.
Then, a health disaster struck. Upon his return from Europe, the president began campaigning hard for his League of Nations, undertaking extensive travel across the country. During this period, he suffered a series of “mini strokes” (transient ischemic attack) and blinding headaches. On September 25, his doctor ordered him back to Washington to rest. On October 2, Edith Wilson discovered Woodrow Wilson on the floor of his bathroom, bleeding from a  cut in his head. He had suffered a major stroke that left his vision impaired and his left side paralyzed. What happened next, as described by by PBS:
During the president’s months-long convalescence, Edith imposed a self-described "stewardship" of the Presidency. Seeking to protect her husband’s health at all costs, she allied with his loyal physician to shield the president from all outside visitors. She served as the only conduit to the president. White House usher Ike Hoover recalled, "If there were some papers requiring his attention, they would be read to him -- but only those that Mrs. Wilson thought should be read to him. Likewise, word of any decision the president had made would be passed back through the same channels." Edith faced criticism for her actions, but she was specific that she never made decisions on her own. Though she carefully controlled her husband's days, the charges that she usurped the duties of the Presidency were exaggerated.
Edith worked to keep the president’s condition hidden from Congress and the public, suggesting that the President’s disability was temporary and would improve with sufficient rest.  The Constitution at the time provided no clear mechanism for discerning how a president would be judged unable to hold office.  (The 25thAmendment, passed in 1965 and ratified in 1967, would later remedy this.) Edith believed that both for his own sake and for the country’s stability, her husband had to remain in office, and she blocked two attempts by the president’s physicians to persuade him to resign. She kept the president sequestered until January of 1920; it would be April before he met his cabinet. Edith’s actions caused some dismay in the president’s circle:
The result was often a confused response for the Cabinet, accompanied by their original papers with often-indecipherable notes in Edith Wilson's handwriting, which she claimed were verbatim notes she took of the President's answer to their questions. When the Secretary of State Robert Lansing conducted a series of Cabinet meeting without the President, the first being in October 1919, Edith Wilson considered it an act of disloyalty and pushed for his replacement with the more acquiescent Bainbridge Colby. Wilson requested Lansing's resignation in February 1920. As her husband began partially to recover, she also guarded access to him from advisors and other political figures. When Republican Senator Albert Fall was sent to investigate the President's true condition, Edith Wilson helped arrange Wilson in bed to be presentable and sat through the brief meeting, taking verbatim notes.
 The notion that Edith Wilson was “really” president during this period does not seem supported by the available evidence, although her role was significant. Joe Tumulty, Woodrow Wilson’s chief of staff was the one who tried to carry the president’s agenda forward during the worst of his illness, and he might be better called the “real” president. Still, Tumulty and Edith worked together closely (despite earlier enmity between them), and it’s fair to recognize that she played a highly significant role.

JFK sings Wilson Act with Edith Wilson
JFK and Edith Wilson at signing for Woodrow Wilson Memorial Commission

In fact, calling her “ the first woman president” really overshadows her role in preserving Wilson’s legacy after his death in 1924. She served as the curator to his papers, allowing access only to those she believed would fairly represent him. She served as a sort of stand-in for Wilson at European events honoring the League of Nations. She was even considered a contender for the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 1928. When President Roosevelt made his speech asking Congress to declare war in 1941, Edith Wilson was present as a reminder of her husband’s internationalist legacy. In the 1960 election, she became a passionate advocate for John Kennedy and was an honored guest at the inaugural ball and the inauguration. She was also present when Kennedy signed the law creating the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Commission in October of 1961; in November, Kennedy named her as a trustee of  the worldwide Freedom from Hunger Campaign. She died in December 1961.

Over at Shakesville, Melissa McEewan notes, “This is Exhausting,” about the ways the media reports on Clinton, even when she is winning:
 Hillary Clinton has a 23-point lead with women. And that is described by CNN as having "an edge with women over Trump." An edge.
For a moment, let's all just contemplate how it would be described if Trump had a 23-point lead with women—or any demographic—over Clinton. Would it be described as having an edge? The fuck it would.
Our sights might not be perfectly aligned, but it’s pretty clear Hillary Clinton has her eye on a similar trajectory. She intends to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change and reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025. She hopes to produce enough renewable energy to power every American home by the end of her first term. She wants to increase the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, two major drivers of research and innovation via government funding. And she wants to do the same for Darpa, the defense research agency—without which, let’s face it, WIRED probably wouldn’t exist, because no one would have invented the things we cover.
Clinton also has ideas that clear away stumbling blocks forentrepreneurs and strivers. She proposes linking entre­preneurship to forgiveness of student loans, as a way to help young people start businesses. Clinton favors net neutrality—giving every packet of data on the Internet the same priority, regardless of whether they originate from a media corporation or from you and me. She has proposed easier paths to legal immigration for people with science, technology, and engineering degrees. And she has spent my entire adult life trying to work out how to give the maximum number of Americans access to health care; she will con­tinue to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which among other things has helped people walk away from crappy, dead-end jobs by alleviating the fear that they’ll lose their insurance.
...[H]aving met Clinton and talked about all these issues with her, I can tell you that her mastery of issues and detail is unlike that of any politician I’ve met. She comes to every policy conversation steeped in its history and implications, and with opinions from a diverse set of viewpoints. She is a technician, and we like technicians...We happen to believe that for all the barbs aimed at Hillary Clinton—the whole calculating, tactical, Tracy Flick enchilada—she is the only candidate who can assess the data, consult with the people who need to be heard, and make decisions that she can logically defend. Sure, she’s calculating. She’s tactical. There are worse things you can ask of a person with nuclear codes.
Laila Ali has an amazing piece up: ”On Boxing, Elections, Hillary Clinton and My Dad:”
When women step into a male-dominated arena—especially when you’re coming in with a well-known name—people want you to work twice as hard to prove yourself. No matter what you achieve, some will always try to create doubt and cast aspersions. In my boxing career, I went undefeated in 24 fights with 21 knockouts. I won 4 world championship titles and the naysayers still said I was only trading on my father’s name, not standing on my own two feet. So, I learned a long time ago not to pay attention to the restraints other people put on me—that’s a waste of energy, and I have better things to do.
Hillary also has one of the qualities I admired most in my father: She lifts people up. When my dad would talk to anyone—a fan, a housekeeper, a janitor—he made you feel bigger than life. He would always lift people up and never put them down. I think that’s what we should expect from our leaders—and I feel it’s what we get from Hillary.
I’m retired from boxing now, but as many women get ready to face off in Rio, I’m ready to fight for Hillary the same way I did in the ring: with strength, skill, and confidence. Because this is a fight we cannot lose!
(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. I want her to say "when someone relies mainly on bald-faced lies to try to bring his opponent down, that means there isn't anything truthful that would work.

    Why do you think the email story is over-sold and over-bought? Do you really think that if I had ever been really dishonest, they'd have to stick with that one? Do you really think there would be a industry devoted to trying to find just anything substantively dishonest about me to use against me and have consistently come up with bubkes if there were anything to find? How many people do you know who have been investigated countless times spending countless tax dollars and there wasn't one tiny thing found that was against the law. All those laws, all that time and nothing at all? Not a tiny little anything?

    If the media wants more proof of my fundamental honesty and don't want to believe Jill Abramson, just those facts ought to convince 'em?

    I don't have to make stuff up about Donald, I can just quote him. I don't have to photo-shop, or quote out of context, to make it look like he'd said something he didn't, not only do I just have to quote him, he repeats himself so often (he really oughten need a teleprompter, those are for speeches with lots of new details, so you don't forget to include something) I just have to choose which example of the same racist, sexist, stupidest comment to quote.

  2. And maybe also admit she's a square, and back in the day when she used to drive her own car, she didn't speed either.

    That she's honest not only because she's really who she is, a Methodist do-gooder like countless other American women and men, who volunteer in their places of worship, and donate to good causes and feel the pain of those less fortunate, and do what they can to make the world better, but also because it's not worth the effort, keeping track of lies, it's easiest to just tell the truth and if someone doesn't agree with you, oh well.

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